Name In Finish Of J45

If you have a string instrument of any kind that needs fixing, a mistake you made in building a new instrument that you need to "disappear," or a question about the ethics of altering an older instrument, ask here. Please note that it will be much easier for us to help you decide on the best repair method if you post some pictures of the problem.

Name In Finish Of J45

Postby Dave Gentner » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:35 pm

I was given an old Gibson J-45 today to reglue a tone bar. The previous owner of the guitar had spelled his name with tape on the top of the guitar. The area under the tape didn't fade as much as the rest of the top, so when the tape was removed the name was still apparent. My customer wants to know if there's any way to make the name go away without refinishing the top as it's a vintage guitar. Told him I didn't think so. Might it be possible to mask the top except for the name and expose it to ultraviolet light? Any Ideas?
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Re: Name In Finish Of J45

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:37 am

Even sunlight will eventually fade the name by "tanning" the wood under the finish, even without masking the surrounding area, but it may take a fair bit of time to do. Leaving the guitar exposed in a sunny window (but one that doesn't get so hot as to dry out and crack the wood) might speed the process.
The ultraviolet light you suggested might be worth trying. Some violin makers tan their wood using black lights. You might get more information on this at the violin forums.
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Re: Name In Finish Of J45

Postby Michael Lewis » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:30 am

Dave, I think your idea of the reverse masking would yield the quickest result. There will always be some difference, though as time passes it becomes less.
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